My challenge to all of you? An A to Z of books that have influenced, moved, inspired and/or changed you...
Considering the amount of books I've read during the last several years, this'll be tough to choose because there are many books that have influenced and moved me. Weaving out my favorites will leave me thinking I'm abandoning all the others. Silly, I know. Nevertheless, my list concludes the most inspirational and influential books/novels that I have ever read thus far in my life.
Note: The ones that say 'Not Accessible at the Moment' means that I cannot recall titles of books that start off with that letter. It'll probably be filled once I remember which exact books they are, and I'll update this list.
A is for Animorphs by K.A. Applegate -- I am not ashamed to admit that I have read the Animorphs series years ago. Remembering back in those days, the series fascinated me because of the science fiction, the accuracy of aliens being humans too, and the adventures they had. I guess this, aside from Star Wars, really got me into Sci-Fi more than anything because back then, and even now, kids are teased and ridiculed for watching or reading material dealing with Sci-Fi or anything of the like. Hell, kids today dismiss reading altogether because they think it's "uncool" to be literately smarter than their peers, which saddens me. However, despite the unpopularity of reading fictional books outside of school I began reading the Animorphs series. This, among others, led me to many different and fabulous worlds. Also, I really liked Science Fiction, so there's a plus. I hold this series close to my heart, and always will.
B is for Battle Royale by Koushun Takami -- This is the Lord of the Flies of the 21st Century and, while details are graphically grotesque, the descriptions and character studies are remarkably well-done. Really, it's psychotically addicting to learn more about each character's mental state, and you feel emotionally attached to them all, even the homicidal characters. Chilling, exciting, it was a thrill ride 'till the very end. I loved it, and you definitely will too when you get a chance to pick it up from the bookstore.
C is for The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis -- Though I haven't particularly read the entire series, I was read to when I was younger. However, these were great books in a fantasy world that's just beyond the wardrobe. There is an upcoming The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe film later this year, however I remember the BBC mini series. Haven't read the series in a long, long time. Perhaps it's time to refresh my memory...
D is for Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier -- Haven't gotten around to reading this just yet, however it's the retelling of the Celtic Swans myth. The fascination bewildered me once looking upon it at the bookstore.
E is for Excel Saga by Rikdo Koshi -- Doesn't fall into the novel category since it's a manga series, nevertheless it's insanely inspiring because it's hard to pinpoint what the actual plot is, and following the storyline is almost like trying to follow a soap opera within a hour...that includes the backstory and memorizing character names and their family trees. As said, not a book -- but it's addicting, and inspirational because of the craziness that ensues.
F is for Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews -- Probably the best Gothic-soap opera book ever invented, according to me anyway. After reading this way back in junior high, I was immediately addicted to the twisted plotlines and the back story and the character developments of the Dollanganger children. Everything V.C. Andrews has gotten me enthralled, despite the ghostwriter now. Dark family secrets, passionate wishes and dreams, incestuous relationships, plots thickening around every corner....all part of my
G is for The Giver by Lois Lowry -- Everyone knows this book, and practically everyone has read it in their junior high English classes. Unlike those that were unhappy about reading it because they were "forced to read it" in school, I enjoyed it. Perhaps it was the thought-provoking discussions our class had after reading a chapter, or the assignments we did that were productive and creative. I don't know. The details and the twistedness of the book was nearly mind-boggling for me at that age. Still, it's a lovely book and I recommend to all -- even if you hated it during that period of time.
H is for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -- Well, the Harry Potter books definitely go in my list, but it was this addition of the entire series that made my liking for it grow stronger. The amount of maturity and darker situations and realism presented in this book conspired with everything I've gone through at one time or another. J.K. Rowling's ability to create a world beyond our imagination in the Harry Potter universe has brought back the reading comprehension on schools worldwide. Even adults are fascinated with the series! Who know that would happen with a piece of children's literature? Order of the Phoenix is definitely a top favorite of mine, next to Prisoner of Azkaban, of course. Skeptics may say that Harry Potter is just a ridiculous book series created to give adults some kind of escapism from reality -- but everyone needs a form of escapism from the harsh and cold world we live in. And this series does just that, it allows you to create in your own imagination a world far beyond anyone's wildest fantasies.
I is for Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski -- Back in elementary school we were assigned to write a book report for reading comprehension, and because some of the books on the Required Book List weren't of my taste, I went to my home library and picked this one out. It's been a long while since I've read it, so the details are slightly hazy. However, I do remember being enticed by it.
J is for James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl -- Another childhood favorite, James and the Itty-Bitty Little Plum! (An inside joke, don't mind it). Imagination can do wonders, especially with Roald Dahl books. This one mesmerized me when I was younger, much like what Matilda had done. Personally, this is influential in my mind. What kid wouldn't want to have a giant peach and go on many exciting adventures?
K is for The Kushiel's Series by Jacqueline Carey -- While I am still on the verge of finishing up the trilogy, the series just entrances me. Erotic fantasy at its best, the first book of the trilogy, Kushiel's Dart, has plenty of sex and violence, yet written beautifully if not poetically by the talented Jacqueline Carey. This lovely author gives a new meaning of poetic justice, even when Phedre doesn't usually get the justice end of the stick. The writing is beautifully descriptive, and even if you're the type that blushes during blatantly sex scenes, this book will definitely make your imagination run wild -- however, blushing is necessary. Especially, if you're in Phedre's shoes, it's a must. Definitely looking forward to finishing the trilogy as soon as possible.
L is for Lord of the Flies by William Golding -- Clichéd compared to all the other Best-Seller books that I have on my list, but nevertheless I was taken aback by the masterful storytelling that Sir William Golding used. Descriptive and engrossing, not to mention confronting a major topic that questions human nature, who wouldn't pick this book up?
M is for Matilda by Roald Dahl and My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews -- I couldn't pick just one influential book in the M section, so I picked the two that I felt are important and still are important to me.
Matilda -- This book is absolutely enthralling and mind-boggling addictive, that I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I remember reading this in elementary school 5th grade, and what I find so interesting about this book now is that it involves a child, being Matilda, so excited about learning and loves to read but is part of a non-attentive family that dismisses everything that Matilda is desperate to know and learn. Thus, creates her telekinetic powers. Matilda gives the fine example that wanting to read books and learn in school isn't a bad thing, and that message is warming and should definitely be read more often in schools nowadays.
My Sweet Audrina -- Another V.C. Andrews novel that I felt needed to be on the list because, unlike her other books that fall into a series of sequels and prequels, My Sweet Audrina is the only one that's a one-shot full-on novel. Feeling rather connected with Audrina, it was darker and frightening about the way she lived and how she lived it. The sercets, the lies and deceptions....this book goes on the same level as Flowers in the Attic. I absolutely adored it.
N is for [Not Accessible At The Moment]
O is for One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz -- Almost done with this book, however I felt that it should be included in this list. I felt connected with the main character, Michelina, and her struggles from the choices she's made in her life. Also this is the first Dean Koontz that I've read. I've heard excellent things about his written work -- even my English professor recommends him. They weren't wrong, Mr. Koontz definitely is beyond the praise I've heard. Especially in this book.
P is for Proof by David Auburn -- Probably the best play I've read since Shakespearean plays. It's sort of a cross between A Beautiful Mind and Pi, but not as complicated. Or is it?
Q is for [Not Accessible At The Moment]
R is for Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary -- The first chaptered book that I read by myself, and ironically it was for school. How unlikely is that situation, eh? Presentation, organized information based on the point-plot of the book, I had fun both reading and creating the presentation.
S is for Second Child by John Saul -- I read this book so much that it was worn out to a point where the pages were falling out, which led to buying a newer copy some time after. John Saul's writing almost collaborates with Koontz writing style, I guess that is why I was so enthralled after discovering Koontz's work. This is the first novel I've read of John Saul and, just like with Koontz, I'm still on the verge of finding worthwhile copies of his other works. Give me time, though. The nearby Borders just rearranged itself so I'll have an adventure looking around.
T is for To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee -- Profound and inspiring, I was surprised that this used to by on the Most Challenged Books List. I love and adore this book, and I would advise everyone to read it if they haven't already. I would also like future parents to teach their children exactly what's discussed and shown in this book. I'm amazed that people today can get so overworked over books that deal with serious situations like prejudice, and To Kill a Mockingbird deals with just that. This book has been sumitted by my approval, most definitely worth the read. And read it more than once, that's for sure.
U is for [Not Accessible At The Moment]
V is for [Not Accessible At The Moment]
W is for The World of the Dark Crystal by Brian Froud -- Though this isn't necessarily a novel, the illustrations and the backstory is beautifully detailed. The Dark Crystal is one of my favorite childhood films, and you would never have believed that it had taken 5 years to create such a masterpiece of brilliant artwork and creativity. Though it's a huge book, it's definitely worth it in my opinion.
X is for [Not Accessible At The Moment]
Y is for [Not Accessible At The Moment]
Z is for [Not Accessible At The Moment]
Had watched Point Pleasant on Thursday, and let me say one thing: if FOX cancels this show I will definitely be writing an angry letter. Note the 'angry' part -- not hatemail, but I will definitely be making sure they understand that their timeslots are crap. Especially with shows with good potential like Point Pleasant. They did this with Tru Calling, Wonderfalls, and Firefly. These three shows got excellent praises but were poorly publicized and despite the low ratings at first, got axed because of they weren't up to par with FOX's obvious target towards fans of "The O.C." and trashy reality shows. Point Pleasant does have potential, while I admit things aren't going smoothly script-wise, however the plot is thickening and cliffhangers are in the air.
The reviews for the episodes recently aired and Medium's episodes will come eventually. One thing though: Judy has now officially won the Bitch of the Year award. Paula is bitch by definition but is likeable to an extent, but Judy is on the Unforgivable level of Bitch. Details and further explanations in the reviews, coming very soon.